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Married a Thai Man and Thinking of Retiring in Thailand

We're both in our 50s. I'm within 10 years of retirement. He has a green card but wants to go for US Citizenship. Won't affect his Thai citizenship.

I speak a bit of Thai and by 66, I will be rather good at it. Healthcare (Thailand has some outstanding healthcare) but it's like pre-ACA, lots of exclusions, and pre-existing conditions for foreigners. After 70 it's almost impossible to get health insurance (as of now).

They don't recognize gay marriage. So in Thailand, we're not married but under U.S. law we are (for the moment at least).

Taxes. Still obligated to pay taxes, though in retirement we won't come close to 103,000.

I'll be an immigrant. It doesn't bother me. Can't own land but can own the building on the land. So he would own the land and we would build and own the house.

Not even considering Bangkok but maybe north. Been there 3 times. Don't like the south, too hot. Don't like the middle, too boring. Don't like Bangkok, way to fucking crowded.

It would be near his family, so as we age, we'll have lots of family to help.

What do you think?

by Anonymousreply 11805/27/2020

I would worry about if he dies and your left with his family. Will they treat you well?

by Anonymousreply 105/01/2020

*you're left

by Anonymousreply 205/01/2020

Well, that would be a risk like it would be here. Here, there is no "family". They're all dead. so he'd be alone with no support from family.

by Anonymousreply 305/01/2020

Sum Ting Wong

by Anonymousreply 405/01/2020

Don't do it, OP. If he predeceases you there is no guarantee you will inherit his estate or retain any shared assets. The "loving family" will see to that. Don't be a fool. Stay stateside. Please.

by Anonymousreply 505/01/2020

beyond naive, good luck on this adventure

by Anonymousreply 605/01/2020

Beware the Thais that bind.

by Anonymousreply 705/01/2020

Worked in thailand for 15 years, lived there full time for some of them. Does he want to go back? Compared to other nationalities, relatively few Thais stay for citizenship----does he want to live there? Coming here and being with a foreigner buys freedom----no pesky in-laws, less day to day family responsibility. Have seen this over and over again in straight couples and I would guess it would be somewhat similar in gay couples. Also, Thailand is a very closed society---real friendships take a long time to achieve and that's true among the Thai, as well. Family, even if it's fractured always take precedence. How well do you know his family, how much are you really integrated with them. I wouldn't assume anything unless, you really have long-term bonds with them.

You'll find that expat circles can get a bit suffocating---the old timers tend to stick more together, and that includes mixed couples. I've known a number of gay old timers in Chiang Mai in the past.

The North is a big place. Chiang Mai still has a charming center but much it is horrendous to drive. Outside of Chiang Rai (a much lesss interesting place), you won't find a lot of farang elsewhere in the North. Places like Lampang or Phitsanoluk will lose their luster quickly. Charming little towns like Nan will seem a bit isolated.

Thai is not an easy language to learn. I had to learn how to read it because I did not pick up the tones easily. Lots of people get lazy unless they need to use the language a lot.

Health care is much better in Bangkok than elsewhere. The established medical schools are there. Chiang Mai has an ok medical school, but Bangkok has many more options, esp. for expat care.

You can't own land, but you can own a condo. A lot prime property actually is on long leases, rather than owned by Thai.

Your post is about you, not the two of you, and not much about your partner. To me, that's a bad sign. Incidentally, I've considered retiring, at least for awhile in Thailand. I've mostly decided against---I just don't know as many people as I once did.

by Anonymousreply 805/01/2020

[quote]Beware the Thais that bind.

Bind books?

Bind textbooks?

Bind USED textbooks??

Don’t say you weren’t warned, OP.

by Anonymousreply 905/01/2020

Does he love you long time?

by Anonymousreply 1005/01/2020

I am in the exact same situation as the OP except my partner is from Cambodia and we are planning on moving over much, much sooner. We actually were hoping to get the ball rolling in March and then Covid 19 appeared. We will wait until things settle down. I have lived in both Cambodia and Thailand before and can say if you do not like heat neither places are a good fit for you. My plan is to buy and keep a small place here in the USA to go back to if needed. If I had more family connections here I wouldn't bother but I don't. There are tons of westerners retired in Thailand. Medical care is good in Bangkok but lacking elsewhere. No need to worry OP. It is an easy life there.

by Anonymousreply 1105/01/2020

R8 & R11

Moving is my idea. He is now introduce the idea of being a US citizen I’m thinking maybe staying in the United States would be better. I make good money now but when I retire it’ll be half that. We have to move to a smaller area, like Gettysburg to live it’s cheaper and just as nice.He is now introduced the idea of being a US citizen and thinking maybe staying in the United States would be better. I make good money now but when I retire it’ll be half that. We have to move to a smaller area, like Gettysburg to live it’s cheaper and just as nice.

I understand healthcare is outstanding, it’s access to healthcare and becomes problematic when i get older in Thailand. I know I can’t on land but that is the case in a lot of countries. You can do a long-term lease of the land and basically tied up for 50 years and it’s rigidly enforced by the court systems.

We’re saving up for an out right purchase of land and the money to build a house the way we want it. I’m asking and black mask black mask came in so I will give your sister a few.

by Anonymousreply 1205/02/2020

Many expats living in Pattaya

by Anonymousreply 1305/02/2020

[quote]I’m asking and black mask black mask came in so I will give your sister a few.

Step away from the Thai Koh Samui, OP.

by Anonymousreply 1405/02/2020

I wouldn't call the health care "outstanding". On the one hand, specialists usually have done their specialty training in the US or UK and often are board certified. OTOH, there isn't a culture of continuing education in the professions and new procedures or medications often lag in reaching Thailand. It's not a culture where even educated people read alot and its not one that reinforces intellectual curiosity. The research infrastructure is good but really relies on foreign collaborators to things done. And things really fall off once you leave Bangkok. The rural health system is very understaffed and does best with things like basic public health---childhood immunization, distributing birth control , that kind of thing.

by Anonymousreply 1505/02/2020

Pattaya is a dirty shithole. No idea why people want to live there besides the sex. The beaches are dirty and the sea is incredibly polluted. All the islands are corrupt and run by gangs or corrupt families. From what I've heard OP, prepare to support your husband and his extended family for the rest of your life. I met lots of old expats who lived in hostels after the Thai family kicked them out when the money was gone or their health deteriorated.

by Anonymousreply 1605/02/2020

I would totally move to Thailand, and I envy that you have the opportunity to do so.

by Anonymousreply 1705/02/2020


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by Anonymousreply 1805/02/2020

I’d build a new house there.

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by Anonymousreply 1905/02/2020

Just get a chip implanted under your skin somewhere before you go so your body can be found in case, well, you know.

by Anonymousreply 2005/02/2020

The mark of a good place in Thailand is one that doesn't have depressed looking fat old European (usually Dutch or German) men. Pattaya is not one of those places. Neither is Phuket.

by Anonymousreply 2105/02/2020

It is very easy to live in Thailand with little money. I could have a very nice life there for less than a grand a month. A retirement visa is available if you are over the age of 50 and put about 23,000. dollars in the bank. health care costs are no where as expensive as the USA but I have a friend living in Bangkok and he now travels to Saigon for healthcare being he has been priced out of Thailand's healthcare.

by Anonymousreply 2205/02/2020

I live on approx. $6k a month retirement income in the US and feel just about middle class.

I imagine I would live well in Thailand or in Saigon. I might just go there for 2 months to give it a try and then make plans if it all goes well.

Anyone know a good neighborhood to find a short term rental? One other requirement, I am still a slut and would want to be near to some rent boys (over 21) for some safe sex from time to time. How much should that be budgeted for?

by Anonymousreply 2305/02/2020

Healthcare in Vietnam---problematic. You get a medical degree in Vietnam with 4 years of college.

by Anonymousreply 2405/02/2020

Is he a ladyboy op?

by Anonymousreply 2505/02/2020

Pattaya or Phuket ? Which is better ?

by Anonymousreply 2605/02/2020

The beach much prettier in Phuket.

by Anonymousreply 2705/02/2020

OP, I bet you are hoping to get some young cock on the side. That is the real reason you want to live there, right?

by Anonymousreply 2805/02/2020

If the price is reasonable for young cock, why not?

by Anonymousreply 2905/02/2020

Happily married. The move to northern Thailand will be to retire and live the rest of our remaining years away from high stress environment.

by Anonymousreply 3005/03/2020

Malaria. Stay in the states. The family will be looking to shake you down, and your ladyboy will go with it.

by Anonymousreply 3105/03/2020

I'm sorry OP but every story I've heard about expats marrying Thais and living in Thailand involves the extended Thai family constantly asking for money. It's just the way it is. You have money, they need it. It's not even because you are a foreigner, a "wealthy" Thai would have the same issue. Wealthy in this case just means anyone who appears to have more money.

Have you read the ThaiVisa forum at The Nation website? Lots of information there. And lots of sneery beery old expats.

by Anonymousreply 3205/03/2020

Great information, r8. I lived in Phitsanoluk for a number of years and loved it, but the slackness of 'getting things done' could drive you mad, I swear!

r15 I had brilliant medical treatment in Thailand, but I'm not sure how good a hospital in a smaller town would be if you needed specialised treatment.

I say go for it OP, but I'd go to the north.

by Anonymousreply 3305/03/2020

Don't do it, OP. When you get divorced, because you will, the laws will be more favorable for you in the U.S.

by Anonymousreply 3405/03/2020

If by north you mean Chiang Mai, I agree it's a great place but you still have the heat of the hot season with temps over 100°F and the fires on top of that. Just recently they nearly spread to Doi Suthep.

by Anonymousreply 3505/04/2020

R23, thinking Chaing Mai or Chaing Rai

R34. Life is a risk. You can never succeed if you don’t leave the bubble and try.

I agree with you.

by Anonymousreply 3605/04/2020

I would live part of the year in Thailand.

by Anonymousreply 3705/04/2020

You can start a gay community with Princess Tom.

by Anonymousreply 3805/04/2020
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by Anonymousreply 3905/04/2020
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by Anonymousreply 4005/04/2020
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by Anonymousreply 4105/04/2020

OP, it sounds like Thailand is rotting even faster than America. It seems horrific.

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by Anonymousreply 4205/04/2020
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by Anonymousreply 4305/04/2020

Life in Thailand: An expat couple on relocating to the ‘Land of Smiles’

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by Anonymousreply 4405/04/2020

The junta won’t play fair.

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by Anonymousreply 4505/04/2020

Singapore, OP.

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by Anonymousreply 4605/04/2020
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by Anonymousreply 4705/04/2020

Caveat emptor: his family will bleed and leech you dry, especially those leeches from the North or the Northeast.

The best place to live is still Bangkok no matter what other expats will say: corruption is less rampant, people are less shitholish and less nosy, goods and food are generally cheaper, government agencies are here, more choices on human and vet hospitals, most service centers are here, etc.

Even though Thailand doesn't recognizes gay marriage, you can still do gay civil union and have a legally binding living will. Hospitals don't care about visitation rights. And if you are still employed at 70 and your employer registers you as a full-time employee, you are required by law to buy government-subsidized health insurance.

Yes, a farang can buy house and lease a plot land on which the house is built. It's normally a 30-year rolling lease and you can do it up to 90 years. Thailand is not a bad country if you hook up with right people and don't bad-mouth some certain higher people.

by Anonymousreply 4805/04/2020

I am US born (white) and my soon to be husband is Dominican born but a US citizen.

I wonder how we would fare in Thailand since we don't have any ethnic ties but do want a low cost of living country to reside in. Neither of us want to consider the Dom. Republic.

by Anonymousreply 4905/05/2020

OP, your Thai husband is in his 50's? I've never heard of a Westerner being with a Thai over 20. You'll stand out like a sore thumb.

by Anonymousreply 5005/05/2020

I’ve visited there and I won’t go back. The humidity is dreadful.

by Anonymousreply 5105/05/2020

Thailand still seems to draw the naive. It's a tough country socially because social circles are closed despite outward friendliness (it's a bit like places in the South, in that way). There is a lot of racism among Thais and among the regional populations, esp. directed at the darker folks from the South and Northeast), so I think a Dominican isn't going to feel comfortable there. Given that a lot of expats (though not the majority) are rice queens or their straight counterparts, you'll meet a lot of other deluded idiots complaining about their boy/girlfriends and the bf/gf families. It's a lovely country, though not as cheap as it used to be. The real heyday for foreigners was probably post-VN War into the 90s.

by Anonymousreply 5205/05/2020

Like someone above said, he and his family are going to bleed and leech you dry. Are you crazy? Stay put. Go on a two week vacation there once or twice a year and get it out of your system, leaving your checkbook at home. Get a wellness check. You're about to be conned. You need your head examined.

by Anonymousreply 5305/05/2020

OP, I caution anyone who wants to change countries who doesn't sound convincingly in love with the idea of living in a specific country.

When the primary impetus is to leave your old country, or to be in any new country or the one that's easiest or cheapest, it doesn't seem a recipe for success.

You don't sound too excited about Thailand, nor your partner. The appeal seems to be that it's a cheap place to live, and that doesn't sound too compelling.

by Anonymousreply 5405/05/2020

The husband wanting to become a citizen makes me think it isn't a family sucking money situation, but a situation from which the husband would rather be separated. I think two weeks a year in the cool season with a brief family visit makes more sense if that's the case.

by Anonymousreply 5505/05/2020

The only reason I can think of going to Thailand is to see the cutest Thai model/actor of all time, Singto Prachaya!

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by Anonymousreply 5605/05/2020

Did he marry for money? Is he younger?

by Anonymousreply 5705/05/2020

Lady boy.... I wanted a lazy boy!

by Anonymousreply 5805/05/2020

Well, one thing I learned in my years of living in SE Asia is that the locals or their families can ask for money and I can always say no. Only the very naive end up taking care of the entire family.

by Anonymousreply 5905/05/2020

Why does Thailand have so many cute guys?

by Anonymousreply 6005/06/2020

Good for you, OP. Do what you feel right to do. Good luck with everything!

by Anonymousreply 6105/06/2020

Ladyboy and her family when OP moves to Thailand....

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by Anonymousreply 6205/06/2020

My Thai husband Is 51 years old.

His family are all professionals and have their own lives and homes and families. They don’t need our money.

I am thinking about moving due to cost of living. We make about 167k now but when I retire, we’ll make 1/2 that. We’ll live better in Thailand than the US.

I won’t and I’m not interested in moving to Bangkok. I don’t want to city life, I want to plot of land with some elbow room a nice house and fuck with my garden all day.

Most of you are thinking of the Thailand of 20, 30, or 40 years ago.

Health insurance is an issue as they have no laws protecting against Pre-existing conditions for foreigners. For Thai, they have a national healthcare program. His family says it good. Not the best but good.

No ladyboys. No twinks. No nothing on the side. I know this sounds strange and alien as this may sound to some of you, we actually are in love with each other and are best friends too.

For me it’s time to start thinking and planning for retirement. 10 years goes by awful fast.

by Anonymousreply 6305/07/2020

Yes, people on DL have such strange ideas about developing countries. They have no idea a large middle and upper class exists in such places. They believe everyone is living in huts. Go back and read some of the India threads. I can't believe such ignorance exists.

OP, what is it you are looking for in posing your question here? Can you tell us a little more?

by Anonymousreply 6405/07/2020

And a new entry in the ‘famous last words’ category: His family are all professionals and have their own lives and homes and families. They don’t need our money.

by Anonymousreply 6505/07/2020

😂🤣😂🤣 at R65

by Anonymousreply 6605/07/2020

Why not country-adjacent - I loved Vietnam and Cambodia a lot more than Thailand. They're considerably less expensive and more open to foreigners. Plus, Vietnamese food is better than Thai food.

English is becoming much more widely spoken in Vietnam due to tourism.

by Anonymousreply 6705/07/2020

R67 sorry, but the guys are much hotter in Thailand.

by Anonymousreply 6805/07/2020

R67. Vietnam is a communist country and you cannot permanently retire there. They don’t have the mechanisms or systems for permanent residency as Thailand does.

R64. I’m confused, what more do you need? I’ve gotten lots of opinions from lots of different places to include expats in Thailand as well as state department consular officers I know. Just looking to broaden my horizon on opinions.

It’s a big decision.

by Anonymousreply 6905/07/2020

Not such a big decision really because you can always move back. I suspect about half the expats in Thailand flunk out and go home within the first year.

For more information try the forum at They are a great source of information and misinformation.

by Anonymousreply 7005/07/2020

Op needs a wellness check. He might be slipping.

Ladyboy's family will leave you broke in no time.

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by Anonymousreply 7105/07/2020

R67 - it's not 'communist' communist. And yes you can retire there - look it up. You'll probably have to do a Visa run, but many people do that - e.g. Americans who retire in Mexico.

Considering how often you'll probably be going to Thailand, you would have no problems with having to do out of country visits to renew your visa.

It's an option. I have a friend who retired there several years ago and he absolutely loves it.

by Anonymousreply 7205/08/2020

I started watching this silly gay Thai tv show on YouTube called 2gether, and I have to say, Thai men are hot. A lot of wildly divergent phenotypes there.

by Anonymousreply 7305/08/2020

The woman who cuts my hair is Thai. Previously she talked a lot about retiring back to Thailand where she owns a condo - but right now she says that the government is terrible with lots of arbitrary jailing of dissidents and torture in prisons. What little social safety net was in place has been dismantled and corruption is extreme. The previous king was more benevolent (even though everyone apparently knows that the military has always run the country) but the current one is a disaster. My haircutter is staying put in the US for the time being. I'd delay your retirement for a few years to see what the political situation in Thailand evolves to.

by Anonymousreply 7405/08/2020

R67, you're a moron. Vietnam is a one-party state and a communist country like China, also a 1 party state.

A foreigner can get a 1 or 3 month, single or multiple entry visa to visit, and can then reapply and re-enter as the visa expires, however, Vietnam does not have a visa retirement program for foreigners.

Now, let me say that again, U.S passport holders are granted 1-year multiple-entry tourist visa, the maximum duration for each visit is 90 days. It means that you can't stay in Vietnam for more than 3 months at a time, and have to leave the country and return for another 3 months of stay. THAT IS NOT RETIREMENT, THAT'S HIDING.

As for medical, is still hit or miss. Better chance in the big city and better have insurance as it can be expensive.

by Anonymousreply 7505/08/2020

I meant to address R72

by Anonymousreply 7605/08/2020

These days Thailand's political situation is just as restrictive as Viet Nam's and the one in Laos but they just are not calling it communism. Thailand continues to muzzle any party contrary to the one they presently have. I do see any real difference between the two countries.

by Anonymousreply 7705/08/2020

I agree only mildly. There is press freedom (though Somewhat limited). There is none in Laos or Vietnam. Multiple parties in Thailand, only one In Laos, only 1 in Vietnam. Thailand is struggling to leave a military Junta, The Philippines is entering a dictatorship.

Just say’n

by Anonymousreply 7805/08/2020

If there is so much press freedom in Thailand try writing about something that goes against the deranged king who is propped up by the military government. Any government elected by the people is usually overthrown by a coup shortly after. But as an expat and a foreigner it hardly matters if there is a free press or not. Life in Thailand and Viet Nam are pretty much the same. By being so concerned by such things I suspect you are a very poor candidate for the expat life. Nothing goes as planned there and you seem to be a planner. Look elsewhere would be my suggestion.

by Anonymousreply 7905/08/2020

Is it safe to even visit Thailand, much less live there? I heard you can be thrown in jail for just speaking negatively about the royal family.

by Anonymousreply 8005/08/2020

It is safe as long as you don't say anything against the royals. There seems to be a bit of a shift now being I am hearing negative things being said about the newest king.

by Anonymousreply 8105/08/2020

Yes there’s a law you cannot see anything negative about the king or put your feet on money with the image of a king.

I don’t feel like howling at the moon so I don’t care with the king of Thailand does. Type people are generally friendly and happy.

I’ve been to Vietnam they also seem happy. Sometimes happiness has nothing to do with your ability to bitch about your government.

I’ve been to Laos and I’m not a fan.

Since husband is Thai, it’s there or Washington State for retirement.

by Anonymousreply 8205/08/2020

OP - go fuck off. There are many Americans who have retired to Vietnam and yes, I already mentioned the 3 month visa issue that most people get around easily.

You don't want advice - you want publicly write out your pros and cons and smack down anybody who says anything against moving to Thailand or provide you cautions or other options.

by Anonymousreply 8305/09/2020

Thailand has hot guys, Vietnam isn't even in the running!

by Anonymousreply 8405/09/2020

Only dirty OLD white dudes think Thai twinks are hot. They want to fuck underage boys.

by Anonymousreply 8505/09/2020

Is R47 typical of a hot Thai guy?

by Anonymousreply 8605/09/2020

R83 is pissed off because a simple Google search proves he is a moron.

by Anonymousreply 8705/10/2020

Here is a super cute Thai guy, Singto, age 25, not a twink. Very popular in Thailand and Asia!

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by Anonymousreply 8805/10/2020

Like you, op, I want to retire to Asia but instead to the Philippines (husband is Filipino). Same restrictions on property ownership, gay rights, et cet.

He grew up near Manila but loves “the province” where it’s less developed like in Visaya.

COVID and the Duterte admin’s response has really put the kibosh on my wanderlust for it, though. Granted the commies in our home city here in the US might keep this up longer though not as harshly.

The biggest concern is my husband is HIV+ and Philippines has shit meds there.

by Anonymousreply 8905/10/2020

R89. Interesting. We talked about the Philippines. I'm concerned that as they slip into full dictatorship, there will be chaos nationwide. But it is a beautiful place

by Anonymousreply 9005/10/2020

I dunno if a full dictatorship/martial law (pray it doesn’t happen) would be any worse than Thailand and their military/monarchy, to be fair. My husband lived through Marcos.

Money talks (of course this is all relative but you know how the stereotype is that white = rich) and if our spouses are dual citizens there’s a different set of rules.

by Anonymousreply 9105/10/2020

I want a ladyboy.... How much money in retirement will I need?

by Anonymousreply 9205/10/2020

I don’t know R92, will he be the top?

by Anonymousreply 9305/10/2020

R92. Your entire life savings.

by Anonymousreply 9405/10/2020

How much of a R46/R47?💦💦💦🔥🔥🔥

by Anonymousreply 9505/10/2020

Buy a condo in Bangkok.

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by Anonymousreply 9605/10/2020

My cousin said that his parents bought property in Vietnam and were allowed to get citizenship as a result. They are retired now in Vietnam.

I did a tour of Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand last Christmas. I have to disagree with some of the posters. Thai guys are not that attractive. A lot of them have large, flat faces.

Cambodian guys are more handsome, and Vietnamese guys are sexier than Thais.

by Anonymousreply 9705/11/2020

R97, are your parents Vietnamese?

All peoples have ugly, fat, thin, old, young, handsome, hot, cute, and sex-on-a-stick.

by Anonymousreply 9805/11/2020

I work and live in Hanoi and have visited Thailand often. Here’s my 2 cents: Thai guys are better looking but more mercenary. Which is to say more mercenaries than Vietnamese. They know the game. An Indian friend called Thais business friends- they are friends only if they benefit in some way.

by Anonymousreply 9905/11/2020

R99 Given the history of young men and women in Thailand and the western older men looking for young stuff. I can understand.

by Anonymousreply 10005/11/2020

Americans are “business” friends too. Especially gay ones.

by Anonymousreply 10105/11/2020

OP, any developments?

by Anonymousreply 10205/15/2020

Pretty good Bangkok news site from expats.

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by Anonymousreply 10305/15/2020
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by Anonymousreply 10405/15/2020

it is really hard to maintain your own home or assets overseas. People who do this successfully are getting all of this through their work. This includes independent property/asset insurance and evacuation insurance. US government does not offer this anymore for expats, or even government employees. It's a bad time.

IF you have not lived there, do not do it. Living in a developing country and a different culture is not for everyone. There is a high failure rate among people who are relocating for work.

by Anonymousreply 10505/15/2020

Op, is this guy famous in Thailand?

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by Anonymousreply 10605/16/2020

R105. Thanks.

Thailand is not a developing country. It is a developed country. But there are some things that the United States has, as well as in western nations, that the Thailand does not, drinkable water for one. They have a national healthcare system but it’s for Thais only. But then again in the United States we have the same set of problems with social systems and healthcare for illegals or legal immigrants who don’t have Social Security numbers.

You made good points thanks.

by Anonymousreply 10705/17/2020

[quote] Thailand is not a developing country. It is a developed country

You have much to learn. It’s still very much developing country. IMF, OECD DAC.

Middle income trap. It’s population is aging, without having become wealthy beforehand (e.g., Japan, South Korea, Taiwan): it’s too late to escape. It will remain outside the collection of developed nations.

Its economy is hopelessly incapable of moving up to the top tier the value chain. It assembles things for other countries’ national champions, while lacking its own that are capable of competing globally, largely due to its failure to move from import substitution to an export orientation.

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by Anonymousreply 10805/17/2020


“Thailand Has a Developing Economy and a Big First World Problem”

By Margo Towie, Jason Clenfield and Hannah Dormido

July 25, 2019, 12:00 PM

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by Anonymousreply 10905/17/2020

... The Thai economy seemed sickly even before the new coronavirus emerged. It grew by just 2.4% last year, the slowest pace since 2014. This year it seems sure to shrink. Growth has been disappointing for more than a decade. From 2009 to 2019, Thailand’s growth rate (3.6% on average) lagged behind poorer neighbours like Vietnam (6.5%) and the Philippines (6.3%), and even richer ones such as Malaysia (5.3%). A small number of huge firms, family-owned businesses and state-owned enterprises dominate the economy. They face little pressure from competitors to innovate.

The poverty rate has stagnated for the past few years, having fallen dramatically in the decades before (see chart). **********About a tenth of the population lives on less than $2.85 a day.********* Average household consumption declined in 2017-18, while household debt stands at about 80% of gdp, one of the highest ratios in Asia. About a third of the labour force still works in agriculture, which is plagued by inefficiency. Thailand’s most severe drought in decades has cut production of sugar, rice and rubber.

Thailand’s demography is not too appealing to investors either. The country is ageing: its fertility rate is lower than Europe’s. Over a quarter of Thais will be older than 65 by the middle of the century. It took France 160 years for the share of its population aged 65 or above to rise from 7% to 21%; the un estimates Thailand will do the same in just 35 years. The elderly lack retirement savings—national surveys suggest that eight in ten of them rely on income from their children.

Thailand’s low labour costs once persuaded carmakers, steel producers and others that it was a good place to build factories. But competitiveness had been slipping. Against the dollar the Thai baht was one of the best-performing currencies in Asia last year. The coronavirus has reversed those gains, but Thai workers’ wages still seem expensive when compared with those in places like Vietnam. In December Mazda, a Japanese carmaker, shifted production of its suvs to Japan. In February General Motors, an American giant, pulled out of Thailand altogether.

This combination of economic ills would test the wisest lawmakers. Thailand’s elites are distracted by internal strife. There have been two coups since 2006. Almost five years of military rule damaged Thailand’s international standing and prevented it from negotiating free-trade agreements with Western countries, argues one Bangkok economist. The government prefers flashy but ineffective schemes like “Thailand 4.0” which includes the Eastern Economic Corridor (eec), a special economic zone.

There are some small spots of good news as Thailand tackles covid-19. Its universal health-care system means citizens will have greater access to help when ill than many others in developing countries. And the government’s existing welfare scheme means it is ready to funnel money to people through the crisis. Building new infrastructure, such as a new railway and airport planned near Bangkok, would bolster its competitiveness in the long term. But the grim truth is that Thailand’s maladies will outlast the pandemic.

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by Anonymousreply 11005/17/2020


[iPhone autocorrect - why I’m getting a Galaxy]

by Anonymousreply 11105/17/2020

It did not seem very developed when I visited a few years ago. It was rather dirty.

by Anonymousreply 11205/17/2020

Buy a townhouse in BK.

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by Anonymousreply 11305/24/2020

Condo? Bangkok ? Naw

Northern Thailand.

by Anonymousreply 11405/25/2020

Thailand’s economy has been slowing down a bit a year prior to the virus. This is generally due to low national debt and high valuation of the bhat.

Education system is less than desirable but better than immediate neighbors.

So when compared to the United States and half of its citizens doesn’t know what country is to the north of the U.S. or decided that 100,000 dead from the coronavirus is OK, or listens to a President suggesting Clorox with a little lime is good for you or .....

You get the picture. It all depends on what you place a value on. That’s more likely than anything going to determine where you want to live or what is acceptable for living.

by Anonymousreply 11505/25/2020

All I know is that Thailand is home to one of the cutest guy I have ever seen, Singto Prachaya!

by Anonymousreply 11605/26/2020

I haven't read through this thread, but I'm sure I'm not the only one shocked the Thai partner is also 50.

by Anonymousreply 11705/26/2020

R117, why?

by Anonymousreply 11805/27/2020
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